Who doesn't remember, as a child, sitting still in the gray summer twilight, watching fireflies float aimlessly through the sticky heat, listening to cricket music and simply absorbing the peace around you? This is the soothing, familiar scene set by Lee Posey in Night Rabbits, a tender story of young Elizabeth's special relationship with graceful nighttime creatures, and with her own father.
Elizabeth finds comfort in the playful dances of the rabbits in the moonshadows. They help her to fall asleep. She says, When it's so hot that I can't sleep, I get out of bed and go out on the porch. I swing quietly in the hammock and watch the rabbits. They leap onto the lawn, then back into the trees, a dance of lighter shadows. Their leaps are soft as shyness. But when the rabbits begin to eat her father's new lawn, Elizabeth becomes discouraged. She loves the rabbits, yet she knows how hard her father has worked to keep the yard pretty. She has an idea she carefully places some lettuce on the lawn after dark, hoping the rabbits prefer that to the green grass but her father says there's no telling with rabbits . . . they'll probably still eat the grass. So father and daughter reach a compromise by sharing the lawn with their animal friends and working together to preserve it.
Night Rabbits is a touching story that celebrates our connection with nature and the peace that such a connection brings. Michael Montgomery's luminous pictures gently capture the mystery and magic of night a land of stars, dancing rabbits, and faerie secrets hidden deep within the faded forest beside the summer house.
Carolyn Porter lives and writes in Nashville.